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Yugsolav war crimes court removes judge over 'bias'

The UN's Yugoslav war crimes court has for the first time removed a judge from a trial, because a leaked letter he wrote appeared to show he was biased, it said Thursday. The shock removal of Danish judge Frederik Harhoff from the trial of Serbian ultra nationalist Vojislav Seselj came after his deeply controversial letter was leaked to the media in June. "The Chamber found... that Judge Frederik Harhoff had demonstrated an unacceptable appearance of bias in favour of conviction," the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) said on Thursday.

Yugoslav war crimes court removes judge over 'bias'

The UN's Yugoslav war crimes court has for the first time removed a judge from a trial, because a leaked letter he wrote appeared to show he was biased, it said Thursday. The shock removal of Danish judge Frederik Harhoff from the trial of Serbian ultra nationalist Vojislav Seselj came after his deeply controversial letter was leaked to the media in June. "The Chamber found... that Judge Frederik Harhoff had demonstrated an unacceptable appearance of bias in favour of conviction," the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) said on Thursday.

Former spy, guerrilla jailed for Kosovo murder

By Fatos Bytyci PRISTINA (Reuters) - A Kosovar former spy and guerilla fighter was jailed for four and a half years on Friday for killing a man during a period of deadly political score-settling after the country's 1998-99 war. Nazim Bllaca said he was a member of an intelligence group that emerged from the guerrilla Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and was affiliated with the political party of Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, himself a former guerrilla commander.

UN prosecutor to appeal after Yugoslav acquittals attacked

The chief prosecutor at the UN Yugoslav war crimes court said Monday he shared victims' dismay at a raft of recent acquittals that have sparked an unprecedented storm of criticism and allegations of US interference. "I understand the disappointment felt by many, especially survivor communities following the series of recent acquittals," Serge Brammertz said in a statement. "My office shares that disappointment," Brammertz wrote.

WikiLeaks cables support criticism of ICTY judge

US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks appear to support claims by a Danish judge that the American head of the war crimes court for the former Yugoslavia furthered US administration aims to acquit senior suspects, a Danish newspaper said Tuesday. Judge Frederik Harhoff last week claimed in a letter sent to his colleagues and leaked in the Danish press that the president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Theodor Meron, had pressured judges to acquit leading Croatian and Serbian officers.

UN court acquits Milosevic's ex-intelligence chief

A UN tribunal on Thursday acquitted late Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic's intelligence chief and his deputy of running Bosnian death squads during ex-Yugoslavia's brutal 1990s conflict, saying they could not have known the units would commit such crimes. "The Chamber found that the prosecution had not proven beyond reasonable doubt that the accused planned or ordered the crimes charged in the indictment," Dutch judge Alphons Orie told the Yugoslav war crimes court, ordering their immediate release.

Serbia hails war crimes acquittal of ex-intelligence chief

Serbia hailed the UN war crimes tribunal's decision Thursday to acquit Serb ex-intelligence chief Jovica Stanisic and his deputy of running Bosnian death squads during the 1992-1995 war. "Serbia has always advocated fair trials to all those accused before the tribunal in The Hague as the only way to establish the truth about the war and make conditions for reconciliation, peace and stability in the region," Prime Minister Ivica Dacic told AFP. ks/txw

Five Kosovo ex-guerrillas arrested in war crimes probe

Police on Thursday arrested five ethnic Albanian former guerrillas suspected of war crimes against civilians during the 1998-99 conflict in Kosovo, the EU rule of law mission said. The five were members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), the guerrilla group that fought the armed forces of then Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic during the war. "The five individuals are investigated for war crimes against the civilian population... held in a KLA detention centre," the EU mission known as EULEX said in a statement. EULEX did not identify the suspects.

Serbia arrests two men over Kosovo war crimes

Two Serbs, including an active member of a special police unit, were arrested over war crimes allegedly committed against ethnic Albanian civilians during the 1998-1999 Kosovo war, the prosecutor's office said Tuesday. The suspects, identified only by their initials K.V. and P.L., were accused of being part of a group that killed 65 ethnic Albanian civilians in the western Kosovo village of Ljubenic, the war crimes prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Wartime Kosovo organ trafficking probe to end in 2014

An international probe into allegations of organ trafficking by Kosovo Albanian rebels in the 1990s will end in 2014, the US prosecutor leading the investigation said Thursday. "We have interrogated more than 100 witnesses so far and we expect that this probe (will) be finished next year," prosecutor Clint Williamson was quoted as saying in a statement from the Serbian government following his meeting with Serb Prime Minister Ivica Dacic. Dacic reiterated Belgrade's support for the EU-led investigation.
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